in Japanese means "lunchbox" or bian4 dang1. actually bento is a particular type of lunchbox that has separate compartments. it's been used to mean the entire lunchbox with it's contents. japanese mums will make obento for their husbands and kids to bring to work n school respectively. husbands who bring obento to work will feel very blessed and loved. these mums will make v cute obento for kids... yeah, it's a v japanese and taiwanese thing.
i try to bring obento to work because i don't quite like my office food, i kena lao sai from the food a couple of times, i'm too lazy to walk down to buy and i feel that outside food is bad (the oil they use is really bad).
Here are some of the things i bring to office for lunch:
rice with 1 veg 1 meat (here i have koshihikari rice with teriyaki chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce, baby broccoli, starfruit from aunt's tree and jasmine tea)
jap stuff (here i have chasoba with chicken cutlet and salad with japanese dressing)
sandwich/pita/tortilla wraps n salad (here is chicken mayo with foccacia, salad with jap dressing)
oh, the sandwich has toast lines cos i have a sandwich press at my desk (actually it's the desk beside my desk which no one occupies so i conquered it... LOL)
sometimes i bring pasta, porridge or soup with rice. lately i also tried making onigiri (japanese rice balls) but it was quite out of shape so don't dare to take photos LOL oh, it looks like i always cook chicken but actually, i got cook fish, steamed beancurd with prawns etc too la, just happen to take photos of chicken.
some people ask me how i steam rice... neh, like that lor.
with a bamboo steamer. bottom steam rice (in a bowl hor) half cup of rice to 100ml water, on top can steam meat and veg (also in bowls). of cos i will put the ones that take longer to steam at the bottom then keep removing layers. what i do is i prep all the ingredients the night before e.g. i will wash the veg, dry them and put in zip lock bag, clean and cut meat plus season, make teriyaki sauce if necessary... basically whatever can prep beforehand i will do, then i cook in the morning. for salads and sandwich, actually can prep the night before and keep it in the fridge. just separate the dressing (which i will make the day before too).
so while the rice is being steamed (which takes about 15-30 mins depending on the type of rice. brown rice will take longer), i go n colour my face LOL then i come out to switch off flame let it sit in the steam for a while more while i change into my clothes, wear jewellery all that, then scoop the rice into the container.
yeah, like that lor.
recently i made teriyaki salmon and rice for chris but think he prefers to go out w his colleagues to eat all those unhealthy food... haha, so won't force him. he definitely won't eat chasoba, sandwiches all that one, especially sandwiches/pita/wraps cos he feels it's not "proper food" by proper food, he means rice n noodles.
check out other people's prettier obento images here